Spurs ‘meddling’ with Leicester as Ounahi bid ‘to change everything’
Antonio Conte previews Crystal Palace clash
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Tottenham have reportedly been interfering with Leicester City’s proposed deal to sign Azzedine Ounahi as the race to capture the World Cup star hots up. The Angers midfielder is subject of interest from several European clubs and he could be heading to the Premier League in January with Spurs set to step up their interest.
Leicester had appeared to have been in pole position to land the 22-year-old after making an official bid, following his stellar displays at the World Cup in Qatar with Morocco, who became the first African nation in history to reach the semi-finals before losing to runners-up France.
Ounahi was one of the key pillars in Walid Regragui’s side alongside Sofyan Amrabat and he is expected to leave his current employers Angers in the January transfer window. The Ligue 1 club are hoping to spark a bidding war with a final fee of around £35million.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Napoli have received the green light from the player to begin talks with his club after getting a ‘yes’ from Ounahi’s camp. But it also states that Tottenham are ‘meddling’ to try and hijack any deal that would take him to Italy.
Both Leicester and Spurs have made contact with Angers in an attempt to kickstart negotiations ahead of a January switch as both Antonio Conte and Brendan Rodgers look to strengthen their squads.
Conte has made no attempt to hide his desire for more additions to his squad, particularly with Rodrigo Bentancur ruled out with injury and doubts over Yves Bissouma. Ounahi, as a tireless midfielder, who fit into Conte’s philosophy but it remains to be seen whether Spurs would be able to meet Angers’ demands.
The report later claims that Napoli ‘are not willing to spend more than €15m’ and would prefer to loan Ounahi back for the rest of the season. That may put Leicester in the driving seat ahead of the Italian side as the Premier League outfit are ‘ready to invest £20m’ after seeing their initial offer of £15m turned down by the French side.
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And it would appear that Tottenham might be willing to match that investment if Angers lower their asking price from £35m. They have cooled their interest in his compatriot Amrabat after it emerged Fiorentina wanted around £50m for the midfielder.
Angers have a strong bargaining position after landing Ounahi from French third tier outfit US Avranches in 2021. He signed a five-year contract, giving the club the chance to land a huge profit on the player who cost a nominal fee only 18 months ago.
But it seems unlikely they will stand in his way to depart the Raymond Kopa Stadium if one of Leicester, Napoli or Tottenham decide to submit an offer that is too good to turn down.
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